1st – 4:00.98 – Jenny Simpson
2nd – 4:01.26 – Mercy Cherono
3rd – 4:01.65 – Sifan Hassan
May 30, 2015
Middle distance runner Jenny Simpson, of the United States, had a strong showing at the 2015 Prefontaine Classic. She was able to win the women’s 1500 with a final time of 4:00.98. Simpson took the time to talk with the media after her victory about how the meet went and what she wants out of the rest of the season.
Yesterday you talked about competing; you did that pretty well today.
I felt really lucky that other people latched onto the rabbit and I just got to feel out the race for about 800 meters.
What’s it say to get the win in your first 1500 of the year?
There is not going to be a single race this year that is easy to win, so it really feels good to start off with a win, start off with a good time. I don’t think I’ve ever run my first 1500 in four flat, so that feels really good. Just being able to transition from the really hard grind of practice to coming out in front of a stadium full of people who are super hyped up, in a place where I personally care about performing well.
Why do you care so much about winning here at Hayward?
I think this place has become personal to me. Especially because of my experience in 2009 when I came here — I knew nothing about running the 1500 and did so well and ran 3:59. So having that in my bones makes this place really special. I made my first Olympic team here, World Championship teams here and NCAAs were here — I mean if you are an American distance runner and you’ve made teams, a lot of them are here.
Not a bad crowd tonight either.
Oh my gosh, its amazing. You walk out and look up; few places can rival the energy of the crowd here. I guess maybe even more so when you are warming up and you hear the energy that you are getting ready to walk in to.
What were you thinking about at the end of the race?
I didn’t think she would get away from me, but I did notice I was further back than I maybe should have been. I think that when I look back on the race I will be surprised by how far back I was. You have a sense for your connection with people in the race that doesn’t always transfer when you watch it back. You think ‘ah, I don’t remember being that far back or that close.’ That is a perfect example of being a little race rusty. In the middle of the season last year I was like glue on a lot of competitors. That is just being sharp and being in the rhythm of racing.
What are you looking to improve on this year?
I want to improve at everything, whether it’s the strength work, little rehab things to stay healthy or my kick. With the type of competition we have in the U.S. and the competition at the world level you have to always keep getting better at everything.